Friday, August 12, 2011

FF, Kindlegraph and Review of The Stoning of Soraya M.



Q. How has your reading habits changed since you were a teen? or If you are still a teen what new genres are you in love with currently?

I wouldn't say they have changed very much. I read 3-4 books at a time back then and I still tend to do that today. I am all over the place as far as genres are concerned as I was when I was a teenager. Perhaps the difference would be in I read more erotica now, (it was hard to get back then), and more books that have, (or are on), different religions in them. I also read electronically now. Being able to carry around hundreds of books when I was a teen would have made me swoon. Okay so it makes me swoon today. I bet it does you too. 

Enter here to win the first 2 e books in the Sunset Vampire Series

Kindlegraph
I read about the Kindlegraph yesterday. The link was on a FaceBook status. I checked it out. While it is not on the actual Kindle copy I own I still think it is pretty cool. I received my first Kindlegraph from Rose Pressey who signed a cover of Me and My Ghoulfriends.  
 Me and My Ghoulfriends (Larue Donavan, Book 1)

Looks good doesn't it? I am waiting for Kindlegraphs from Stephany Simmons, Bret Jordan and Scott Nicholson. There are many more I would like to get. I have not finished exploring yet. According to the Kindlegraph site there are 1000 authors and  4000 books so far. I don't think it will "replace" getting print books signed. At least I hope not. But, for people like me who live in places where authors rarely make appearances, this is awesome. I think it will catch on. I think it is a good alternative for people who live to far to go to book signings. It also opens up the way for all those writers whose books are only available on e readers to sign their books. I do wish there were a way to replace our e copy covers with the signed ones. Maybe that is something in the future. For the time being I am enjoying this feature. I  do hope some more authors sign up for it.  What do you think of it?

Book Review

The Stoning of Soraya M.: A True Story  
 The Stoning of Soraya M.  A True Story
Freidoune Sahebjam Translated by Richard Seaver
Arcade Publishing, Inc.

From the Back Cover:

When he couldn't afford to marry another woman, Soraya M.'s husband plotted with four friends and a counterfeit mullah to dispose of her. Together, they accused Soraya of adultery. Her only crime was cooking for a friend's widowed husband. Exhausted by a lifetime of abuse and hardship, Soraya said nothing,and the makeshift tribunal took her silence as a confession of guilt. They sentenced her to death by stoning; a punishment prohibited by Islam but widely practiced.

Day by day - sometimes minute by minute - Sahebjam deftly recounts these horrendous events, tracing Soraya's life with searing immediacy, from her arranged marriage and the births of her children to her husband's increasing cruelty and the difficult details of her horrifying execution, where, by tradition, her father, husband and sons hurled the first stones.  A stark look at the intersection between culture and justice, this is one woman's story, but it stands for the stories of thousands of women who suffered - and continue to suffer - the same fate. It is a story that must be told. 

Freidoune Sahebjam, the son of a former Iranian ambassador, is a journalist who was sentenced to death in absentia for his undercover reporting criticizing the Iranian government.
Richard Seaver was an editor and publisher. He passed away in 2009.

This is the most heartbreaking book I can recall reading. To say it is difficult to read is an understatement as is saying it is a compelling read. It is a book once you begin to read you will be unable to put down and unable to forget. That it is a true story is horrifying. That there are at least 15 prisoners at risk of stoning today, (Amnesty International), is incomprehensible. Those 15 are in Iran. Iran is not the only country to have stoning happen.

In reading this story and imagining how Soraya must have felt it is not difficult to see why she was silent. She must have felt trapped because she had no way to defend herself. Whether or not the charges were justified  or false the cards were stacked against her. I cannot imagine how she came to terms with her sentence. I cannot fathom what must have gone through her mind when she watched her father, her sons, pick up stones to throw at her.

The person I think I am most amazed at is Soraya's aunt. The only person to try to come to her aid. In thinking about that country and its treatment of women, Soraya's aunt stands out as a hero. She spoke out in Soraya's defense. She failed to stay quiet after the execution and it is from her that we hear Soraya's story. What an amazing amount of courage, love and strength that took. I would like to think I could be so strong. But in all honesty I am not certain. I do not think any of us who lived our entire lives free could say with absolute certainty that they could do what Soraya's aunt did. 

The back cover of the book states, " It is a story that must be told." To that I add, it is a story that must be read. You cannot change anything in ignorance. Knowledge is power. Is it to say that by reading the book Iran will suddenly change its sentencing? No. We all know that is not realistic. But perhaps by becoming knowledgeable and passing that knowledge on we can eventually change things for the better. According to the author between 1979 to 1983 the Iranian government acknowledged that between 500 to 600 women were put to death by stoning. Today there are 15 at risk of stoning. That is a huge difference. Knowledge is power. I cannot imagine the strength of the Iranian people who have fought to change things for the better in their country. I am in awe of them as I am of those in countries around the world who fight against injustice; those who refuse to be silent in the face of death.

The Stoning of Soraya M. is a story that must be read. It is a story you will not forget.